Sunday, May 29, 2022

Incomplete stadiums send teams counting their losses

Many soccer lovers around the country are happy that the long awaited football season has started.
This means people will hopefully throng the respective stadiums to watch their beloved teams.

However, for team administrators it is the beginning of another painful season because they are not going to make much money to help in the survival of their teams because big stadiums are not complete.

For the past two seasons, two stadiums have been built while the National Stadium is still under refurbishment.

They are all yet to be complete.

This has definitely hit the teams in their pockets hard. Most teams in the country do not have sponsorships and survive through gate takings that have since dwindled.

There was hope that the National Stadium, together with two new stadiums in Lobatse and Francistown, would accommodate hundreds of spectators.

To this day, it is not yet known when exactly the stadiums will be ready. Teams that command popular following like Township Rollers, Extension Gunners and Gaborone United are the hardest hit because most of their supporters do not attend matches in their renowned numbers.
The situation is even worse when one of the teams is on the verge of winning the league championships.

Supporters from all corners of the country come in their numbers to watch their beloved teams. It has since proven that the current most used stadiums, such as University of Botswana and Molepolole, cannot cope with the influx of supporters.

Mochudi Centre Chiefs spokesperson, Clifford Mogomotsi, told Sunday Standard that since the National Stadium closed, they have had a hard time to balance their books.
He said they thought that the stadium would at least be ready before the beginning of this season but it is not the case.

“If you recall well before the National Stadium was closed, our record gate takings was P250 000 when we played Township Rollers in a league match. In some of the matches, we were coming close to the figures but currently as I am talking to you, it is hard to even arrive at half of the money we used to make. We want to take our football to the next level but this is taking us back,” he said.
Mogomotsi said apart from the available stadium not having the capacity to carry large crowds, it is not convenient for people from different walks of life.

“At the National Stadium we would go to the extent of selling tickets for different classes of people at different prizes. This helped us because we derived a lot of money from that. At other stadiums there is nothing like that,” he said.

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